Community Response Freephone Helpline to remain operational throughout Christmas and New Year
COMMUNITY RESPONSE FREEPHONE HELPLINE TO REMAIN OPERATIONAL THROUGHOUT CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR
The COVID-19 freephone helpline which is provided by the Kerry COVID-19 Community Response Forum will remain operational seven days a week throughout the Christmas and New Year period.
The confidential service, which is available on 1800 807 009, will continue to be available every day between 9am and 5pm for non-emergency supports and for advice and guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic. If anyone needs to arrange a delivery of supplies, if they require transport for essential purposes, or if they need to connect with any of the wide range of support services which are available, they can call the freephone number or text ‘SUPPORT’ followed by their name to 50555.
The Kerry Community Response Forum is a multi-agency group of statutory and voluntary organisations which has been coordinating the community response to the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020. It includes representatives of Kerry County Council, the HSE, An Garda Síochána, local development companies, Kerry Volunteer Centre, Kerry GAA, Local Link Kerry, Kerry Public Participation Network, Kerry Age Friendly Network, Citizens Information, St Vincent de Paul, Alone, Irish Red Cross, Kerry Civil Defence and other local voluntary groups.
“The community-based response to the pandemic has been truly exceptional,” said the Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council, Cllr Patrick Connor-Scarteen. “Since the arrival of the virus in Ireland, the various agencies and voluntary organisations in the county have coordinated a very effective locally based support network to those in need and those who were restricted and impacted by the crisis. I want to thank them all for a tremendous effort all year.”
Michael Scannell, Director of Community Development with Kerry County Council said that ordinary individuals in their communities had shown an exceptional community spirit during 2020.
“The Kerry Community Response Forum was one of the first to be established in the country in recognition of the need to support vulnerable individuals and households in the county. Underpinned by the freephone helpline, there was a wonderful effort on the ground to support those in need. That work continues with weekly meetings of the Forum to ensure the community-based response is sustained.
“I would like to thank very sincerely the people who have staffed the helpline all year and those who will do so over the Christmas period. They have provided an essential service to so many people in difficult circumstances so that effort is greatly appreciated,” said Mr Scannell.